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SBIR Phase II: Dual Element Matrix (DEM) Water Electrolyzer

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1951216
Agency Tracking Number: 1951216
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: CT
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-04-16
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-03-31
Small Business Information
1714 W 26th St, Lawrence, KS, 66046
DUNS: 080693111
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Joseph Barforoush
 (913) 523-5819
Business Contact
 Joseph Barforoush
Phone: (913) 523-5819
Research Institution
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project is to make on-site hydrogen generation convenient and economically viable. Hydrogen is a chemical used widely in industry and serves an alternative fuel source for electric vehicles, increasing drive range and shortening refueling time, but adoption has been limited by the needs for refueling infrastructure. One method to address this is to create hydrogen by splitting water, alleviating the safety, logistical, and reliability issues associated with the delivery and storage of hydrogen, but existing technology has been associated with high capital and operating costs. The objective of this proposal is to advance water splitting technology, enabling a non-polluting, zero-emission hydrogen solution. This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will develop an advanced electrolyzer. The project will (1) synthesize the catalysts and fabricate these electrodes on an industrial scale; (2) characterize the relationship between electrode architecture and kinetic and mass-transfer limitations; and (3) identify the electrode architecture, stack compression, and flow rates required to translate the performance of these electrodes to an industrial-sized prototype. The project will utilize mathematical modeling to guide electrode architecture development and a three cell industrial-sized test stack for experimental testing before employing electrodes in a full 4 kg/day stack. Furthermore, the project will employ the electrodes in a 4 kg/day pressurized stack and integrate these components to produce hydrogen at 20 bar to the SAE J2719 standard of 99.998% purity. The projected targets for stack and system efficiency for the final system are 43 kWh/kg and 55 kWh/kg. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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